By Omar Bah
The government of The Gambia through the ministers of Justice and the Interior Baa Tembeadou and Mai Fatty, respectively, have reaffirmed resolve in protecting and promoting the human rights of citizens.
The duo made the assurances recently in their respective offices during a meeting with officials of Beakanyang, a national human rights organization.
Baa Tambedou for his part applauded Beakanyang for educating Gambians about their rights noting that education is key in promoting human rights.
According to him, as the host of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the government will restore The Gambia’s leadership role in promoting and protecting human rights.
For his part, interior minister Mai Fatty said the first six months of Barrow administration has witnessed unprecedented developments with regard to respecting the rights of citizens.
He cited the mass prisoner release and improvement of their conditions, establishment of an impartial judiciary, security sector reforms and free speech being enjoyed by Gambians among others.
Minister Fatty however warmed that while the government will continue to respect the rights of citizens they will not allow people to use freedom of expression to destabilize the country.
Responding to quarries from Beakanyang officials, Minister Fatty said in new Gambia, police hardly do arbitrary arrest and they have provided unlimited access to prisons by human rights organizations to visit prisoners.
He commended Beakanyang for engaging his ministry and assured that the government will continue to protect the dignity of Gambians, saying human rights is at the center of the government’s development agenda.
Both ministers have disclosed that they have human rights units at their various ministries to promote human rights in the country and to handle alleged human rights cases.
The executive director of Beakanyang called on the government to protect and promote the human rights of all citizens especially children.
Speaking earlier, Nfamara Jawneh commended the government for its commitment in respecting human rights.
Mr Jawneh however stressed that as primary duty bearer, the government should do more to enable citizens enjoy their fundamental human rights.
According to him, they firmly believe that human rights education could serve as an essential tool in building a culture of human rights thus leading to positive social change.
He emphasized that there cannot be any sustainable development and peace without respect for human rights.
Beakanyang boss suggested for the government to establish a national human rights commission to protect and promote the rights of citizens.